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Is the interview the most important part of an application?

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Is the interview the most important part of an application? [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2008, 12:12
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Hi, I have done 3 interviews (Kellogg, Columbia and Tuck). Kellogg and Columbia rejected me and I am waiting the decision of Tuck. I am very proud of my essays and I think they are quite good. I can not say the same about my interviews, I need to practice more. My question is whether the interview is the most important part of an application? How do the adcom compare interviews since alumni and adcom can rate an interview very different? (I am an international applicant)
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Re: Is the interview the most important part of an application? [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2008, 12:18
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Interview is not the MOST important part of the interview.

Interview is just a way to get another person's perspective on the applicant's "fit" with the school.

It's probably that (if interview was at fault) you didn't prep your answers for potential interview questions.

I know I prepped heavy for potential interview questions and thought about how/why I am perfect for each school etc.
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Re: Is the interview the most important part of an application? [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2008, 12:21
I dont think you can label any specific thing the most important. It is probably similar to GMAT where a low score can keep you out while a great score will not get you in. A bad interview will keep you out while a great interview will not get you in. You get the picture. It really is a whole package that they look at! (I thought my Cornell interview was great but it sure as hell didnt get me in).
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Re: Is the interview the most important part of an application? [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2008, 12:26
You could probably make the argument that in some cases the interview is the LEAST important part of the application...

I think it is used mostly to evaluate "fit." At the basic level of - "Could I interact with this person in a group setting?"
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Re: Is the interview the most important part of an application? [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2008, 12:46
Then, I thought my Columbia interview was good as I was quite prepared and I told the stories I wanted to tell. However they rejected me. I will try to prepare better in order to answer all the questions as sure as possible and demonstrating my fit with a MBA school and that school. But then my question is, when you are invited to interview they expect you to show some qualities, or they just want to make sure that you are a "normal" person that will interact well in the class?
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Re: Is the interview the most important part of an application? [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2008, 13:07
I would put it this way:

Things that will keep you out from a school:
- Bad interview
- low GMAT score (low end of their 80% range)
- bad essays
- bad recommendations
- so-so work experience
- low GPA (<3.0 for top 10 schools)

Things that will get you in a school if done very well:
- Great essays
- Great work experience (conveyed well in the essays)

Things that will not help you much once you meet a minimum threshold:
- Great interview, GMAT Score, GPA, Recommendations

So unless you believe your interview skills are bad (have a friend practice with you to judge), I don't think an excellent interview will help you get in more than even better essays.
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Re: Is the interview the most important part of an application? [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2008, 13:35
I think for international students, interview is 2x as important as it is for domestic students. To me, an interview is the school's way of determining how you are going to perform during job interviews while you are at b-school. So, if you are not conversational in the interview, if you provide short, curt answers to questions without elaborating, or if you ramble on and on, those are all red flags.

Just my thoughts on how interviews impact one's candidacy.
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Re: Is the interview the most important part of an application? [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2008, 16:54
msday wrote:
I think for international students, interview is 2x as important as it is for domestic students. To me, an interview is the school's way of determining how you are going to perform during job interviews while you are at b-school. So, if you are not conversational in the interview, if you provide short, curt answers to questions without elaborating, or if you ramble on and on, those are all red flags.

Just my thoughts on how interviews impact one's candidacy.


that is true, I didn't consider that. I was told that a few years ago there were issues that some international students arrived at school barely being able to speak English. I think most schools have tightened the "Interview in English" requirement to make sure that doesn't happen again.
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Re: Is the interview the most important part of an application? [#permalink] New post 23 Dec 2008, 20:38
Definitely not... I think it cannot be because most interviews are alumni interviews, application blind and they go pretty well. It would be hard for an adcom to simply base admission decision solely on the basis of an alumni recommendation....
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Re: Is the interview the most important part of an application? [#permalink] New post 24 Dec 2008, 06:54
I am of the opinion that work experience trumps everything. I have friends with terrible GPA and GMATs, are white males...but have amazing careers and still got into a lot of great schools. Also, you could have a 4.0 and a 780 and still get dinged if you had a crappy job.

I dont see interviews as being a make or break like with jobs. You can break it by doing something horrible during your interview but I dont think you can get an admit just because of an interview.
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Re: Is the interview the most important part of an application?   [#permalink] 24 Dec 2008, 06:54
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